The first edition of the International Marathon race is set to hold in Ile-Ife, Osun State, the cradle of Yoruba race in February 4th, 2018.
Osun State Commissioner for Social Protection, Sports and Special Needs, Comrade Biyi Odunlade made this known during a press conference at the NUJ Press Center in Osogbo.
Comrade Odunlade said the purpose of the marathon race is to showcase the rich heritage of the cradle of the Yorubas and the State to the world saying that is why the race is focusing on Ile-Ife.
Also speaking at the press conference, the Director of Ile Ife Race Heritage Marathon Organization, Adedayo Akinbode said no fewer than 150 athletes; both Nigerians and foreigners would participate in the race.
She posited that the marathon race event would also presents unique opportunities for visitors from within and outside Nigeria to have first-hand contacts with many Ile-Ife’s iconic cultural sites and values.
She added that it will also provide ample opportunity to introduce sports to the growing population of residents as a platform of social development.
Urging interested participant to register for the race with the fee of N16,500 for Nigerian and $53.60 for expatriate, Akinbode affirmed that the marathon race is of International Athletics Standard of 42.195kilometers distance.
Expressing the support of the State Government for the race, Odunlade gave assurance of adequate security for athletes and all the people who will have one reason orthe other to participate in the marathon.
He said “There are three key objectives to this program; this kind of initiative was part of six integral point agenda the governor in building healthy life for every citizens of the State; for made know the cultural heritage we are blessed with in the State and to boost the Internally Generated Revenue of the state.”
While giving route for the marathon, the Commissioner said, “commencing from the Obafemi Awolowo University premises, the expected 150 runners will weave their way through the campus premises and the ancient city to sight some of the world’s eye-catching historical icons like the world famous bronze head locally known as ‘Ori Olokun’, ‘Opa Oranmiyan’, the 42FT of Moremi and the bust of legendary Yoruba Sage, Obafemi Awolowo, before heading for a royal welcome for a royal welcome of Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi in his Palace.
“During the International marathon the routes will be partially block. Nigeria Police, Road Safety and other paramilitary will be on ground to prevent breakdown of laws and order”, he added.